2010-2012 Graduate Studies Catalog

The Department of Psychology

Dr. Michael D. Havens, Chairperson
LA 500, (406) 657-2242

Professors:  Michael Havens, Matthew McMullen, Doxey Hatch
Associate Professors:  Judith McLaughlin, Marie Schaaf Gallagher
Emeritus:  Beal Mossman, Eugene Wiesner

The department offers and administers the following Graduate Degree program:

Master of Science in Psychology

Thesis, Thesis Defense andOral Exams

The student will meet with an advisor to explore a master’s thesis topic and design a suitable project.  A formal proposal, the format of which is to be determined by the advisor, will be written and presented before the graduate faculty.  Following completion of the project, a defense of the thesis project will be conducted before the graduate faculty.  Oral examinations, generally conducted at the end of a plan of study, will be conducted on a date agreed upon by the student and graduate faculty.  Students failing the thesis defense or oral examinations will be assigned additional academic activities that will satisfy the requirement by the graduate faculty.

Clinical Internship

Students choosing to complete a clinical internship can, in consultation with an advisor, choose among numerous internships that are available throughout the Billings area.  These internships, established through a long history of cooperation between the Department of Psychology and local agencies, provide students with professionally-supervised training opportunities, off campus research associations, and practical experience in assessment.  Potential internship sites include an inpatient psychiatric center, a community mental health center, a prison pre-release center, and residential and day-treatment centers for children and adolescents.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credits will be approved by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on the recommendations of the Psychology Graduate Committee.  Two copies of official transcripts recording the transfer must be sent directly from the registrar of that institution to the Office of Graduate Studies.  No course credit may be
transferred unless the grade received was at least a “B.”  If approved, a student may transfer a maximum of six semester hours of approved graduate credit from an accredited institution.

Correspondence courses are not accepted as transfer graduate credit.

Admissions Procedures

Applicants seeking admission to the Master’s Degree program in Psychology must submit all application materials to the Office of Graduate Studies.  Applications submitted before April 15 will be given priority.  Later applications will be considered.  Application materials include:

  1. A letter of application, which includes a personal statement of the applicant’s career goals and how the degree will be applied within those career goals.

  2. Complete, official transcripts from all institutions attended.  Applicants should indicate, on a separate sheet overall GPA for undergraduate and graduate courses, GPA in all psychology courses, and GPA for the last two years of coursework.

  3. Official notification of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test (to be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies, Montana State University Billings).

  4. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic performance and potential for graduate study.

  5. A vita or resume.

The Department of Psychology uses a two-stage approach to determine admission of a limited number of entrants to degree candidacy in the Master’s Degree program.  First, the committee uses the letter of application, resume, and letters of recommendation to determine the appropriateness of the applicant’s academic background as well as the compatibility of the candidate’s educational and career goals within the scope of the program.  Next, if the academic background and career goals of the applicant are suitable to the program, the GRE scores and GPA are used to determine admission.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a Master’s Degree in Psychology should be able to:

  1. Understand the scientific process especially the design of research questions, collection, analysis and interpretation of data.
  2. Demonstrate competency in collecting and analyzing data in a major research project.
  3. Prepare and present effective professional publications and conference reports.
  4. Work effectively in a research, mental health, or other professional psychology setting.
  5. Think critically, write and speak clearly on advanced psychological topics.

NEXT: Master of Science in Psychology

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